The artist and designer Gerardo Dottori created this unique Futurist dining room on commission for the Cimino family in Rome. Dottori’s patron, Guido Cimino was a wealthy barrister and intellectual who was committed to the arts. The wood furniture borrows from Art Deco vocabulary, and the design features interrelated geometric forms. The sideboards’ doors incorporate leaded glass and their feet are of colored, faceted crystal. The decorative ensemble as a whole signals Dottori’s embrace of multiple mediums.
In 1915 Giacomo Balla and Fortunato Depero wrote the seminal manifesto “Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe.” Using characteristically aggressive language, they call for a reenvisioning of every aspect of the world, even demanding Futurist “toys.” These ideas fed the Futurist conception of the opera d’arte totale (total work of art), an ensemble that surrounds the viewer in a completely Futurist environment. Balla, Depero, and others soon put their ideas into practice, opening case d’arte (art houses) to market their decorative arts designs. Balla converted his home in Rome into a showroom of sorts, designing nearly everything in the residence. Depero established an artisanal studio in his native town of Rovereto. Balla made screens, which often shared concerns with his speed-related paintings, and other furniture. Both artists designed waistcoats that reflect the aesthetics of their paintings. Depero fashioned his brightly colored vests expressly for the Futurists to wear with their bourgeois suits to signal their radicalism. Balla conceived a coffee service (recalling his 1916 sketches for a tea set) that was produced in majolica in Faenza in 1928, and many other Futurists experimented with ceramics, especially in the 1930s. Some Futurist artists secured commissions to design elaborate interiors for homes, restaurants, and cabarets.